The greatest enemy to the unfettered collection of recipe clippings is husbands. I base this purely on anecdotal evidence, but reliable evidence nonetheless — to be specific, the requests I get for reprints.
Most pleas (and they can sound desperate) start out with "I meant to save the recipe for such-and-such, but my husband threw out (or recycled) the paper." This is far more common than "wife threw it out." The No. 2 complaint is actually "lost it when I moved."
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Also reasons for lost recipes: dog ate it, child put it in the shredder (really, should kids be playing with shredders?), left newspaper behind when checking out of the hospital and house burned down.
All of which makes a case for some degree of permanence in recipe collecting, meaning cookbooks, which although susceptible to fire would be harder for a dog to eat. I’ve got one for you: "By Request 2: The Continuing Search for Hawaii’s Greatest Recipes," a co-production of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Mutual Publishing Co.
Cover price is $14.95, with a portion of sales going to the Hawaii Foodbank. But for a few weeks you can order cookbooks at a discount (details at left). The original "By Request" cookbook, published in 2006, is also available — same deal.
Like the first cookbook, this one is a collection of articles written since I inherited the Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s "By Request" column in 1998. Some are from establishments long gone (Crouching Lion Slavonic Steak, Kahala Moon Banana Mac-Nut Praline Tart, A Little Bit of Saigon Twice-Cooked Chicken, Golden Dragon Mongolian Lamb). You’ll also find recipes from Side Street Inn (edamame), chef Sam Choy (tripe poke) and Lunalilo Elementary School (spaghetti).
Also included are chapters on breakfast, rice/noodles and dressings, based on frequent reader requests in those categories. Plus, tested instructions for how to cook rice in the microwave and in the oven.
Even if you’re used to finding recipes on the Internet, this collection could prove valuable. Since the merger of the two daily newspapers, it has become difficult to find specific recipes in the Star-Bulletin’s old online archives.
Sometimes things saved in the virtual world have no more permanence than those left where a husband can throw them away.
Write "By Request," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.